News > Financial Services

Franklin Templeton looks to acquisitions
Asset Management
<p>Franklin Templeton, which just took a 44% profit hit last quarter, is on an acquisition hunt for alternatives, reports the Financial Times. The company has made a number of acquisitions in the last 10 years, mostly small add-ons to the traditional business. This continued pursuit of alternatives may mean a change to the core of Franklin's business.<br /> Photo: Raúl Hernández González</p>
How to play oil's short-lived rally
Asset Management
<p>There has been plenty of chatter about an alleged oil rebound in recent weeks. If theUnited States Oil Fund (NYSE: USO), which tracks front-month West Texas Intermediate crude futures, being up half a percent over the past month qualifies as a legitimate rebound, so be it.</p> <p>Oil equities have been vastly superior over that period. For instance, the usually volatileSPDR S&amp;P Oil &amp; Gas Exploration &amp; Production ETF (NYSE: XOP) is up 10.3 percent over the past 30 days and that is even with the burden of an almost 5.4 percent decline over the past week. Still, there are reasons to be cautious with the oil patch, both futures- and equity-based exchange traded funds.</p> <p>There is political wrangling regarding the US potentially becoming an oil exporter and headlines about Saudi Arabia moving to crush the U.S. shale boom. The Direxion Daily S&amp;P ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo: Natalie Maynor <br /> &nbsp;</p>
CITIC Capital seals the deal on Akakura buyout
Asset Management
<p>Despite the nation’s shaky fundamentals, foreign investors are still enthralled Japan – and it appears that China’s CITIC Capital is no different.</p> <p>The $5 billion private equity and real estate shop announced that it recently completed its acquisition of Akakura, the 60-year old Japanese footwear retailer, adding that it has installed a new CEO and that it’s looking forward to seeing it grow:<br /> “Following the acquisition, CITIC Capital will continue to operate the 60 profitable stores, which are expected to grow further in the coming years. Mr. Masahiro YAMADA, a footwear industry specialist, has been appointed as the new CEO to lead the restructuring process. CITIC Capital will assist Akakura to capture the rise of consumer spending, emergence of the middle-class in China and the rapid growth of in-bound tourists into Japan, as well as enhance Akakura’s supply chain management.</p> <p>CITIC Capital is also committed to working closely with Akakura’s management and employees to rebuild Akakura’s leadership in the women’s footwear industry and create long-term value to the Company.”<br /> How much CITIC spent for the retailer however was not disclosed.<br /> Photo: 드림포유</p>
China funds did pretty well in September
Hedge Funds
<p>High-profile hedge funds like Pershing Square and Third Point may have been hammered in September, but according to China Money Network, their China-focused counterparts didn’t do too bad:<br /> “Greater China-focused hedge funds gained 1.26% in September, compared with the CSI 300 Index, which was down 4.86%, and the global hedge fund index's 0.58% decline during the month, according to data released by industry data tracker Eurekahedge.</p> <p>The gain compares with a decline of 6.55% in August for China-focused hedge funds. Asia ex-Japan was the best performing regional index during the month, up 0.67%.”<br /> Unfortunately, a hulking 42% of them are still underwater, and yes, 1.26% doesn’t really make you go “hmmm,” but still, their performance has so far eclipsed those of their North American peers (-1.34%) as well as those of their South American rivals (-2%).</p> <p>They still have a long way to go to beat their Australasian counterparts though; Aussie and Kiwi-focused funds apparently gained a whopping 7.37% in the same time frame, quite the hurdle to jump.<br /> Photo: Charles LeBlanc</p>
Is Xiaomi losing its magic?
Venture Capital
<p>For a while now venture capital-backed smartphone maker Xiamoi has been the darling of Asian tech, disrupting incumbants left and right, but new sales data shows that the firm may be losing some of its lustre.</p> <p>Tech in Asia reports that the firm may be feeling the effects of a China slowdown, citing several reports that indicate Xiaomi might be fall short of its revised goal to ship 80 to 100 million units this year.</p> <p>Xiaomi is yet to release it Q3 sales figures but the consensus among research firms is that the hype might be wearing off. That said, most agree the firm could still be on course to shift around 70 million units, which is still an awful lot.<br /> Photo: nijanthan_v</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Value Partners gains cross-border fund license in China
Asset Management
<p>Wild domestic stock price fluctuations and the heavy hand of state manipulation of markets are encouraging foreign fund managers to tap China’s vast pool of savers. It’s not just international investors who struggle to cope with A-share volatility; Chinese investors can benefit from more diversification.</p> <p>Yesterday, Value Partners said it would roll out its own-branded cross-border funds in the Mainland’s domestic fund market, having picked up the first Qualified Domestic Limited Partner (QDLP) license by a Hong Kong fund management firm.</p> <p>“Currently, the vast majority (99.4%) of Chinese households’ assets are held in RMB with only 0.6% denominated in foreign currencies. In the wake of the recent stock market rout and the depreciation in Renminbi (“RMB”), Chinese investors are seeing an increasing need to diversify their portfolios and explore opportunities in overseas investments.  Value Partners is preparing to launch its first QDLP fund before the end of the year.  The QDLP fund will appeal to yield-chasing investors who look to diversify their investments across Asia,” said Value Partners in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: Photo: up to 2011</p>
Bonds -- the Rodney Dangerfield of investments
Asset Management
<p>Vanguard strategist Fran Kinniry thinks bonds deserve a lot more respect.  "Like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, bonds suffer from a chronic lack of respect," Kinniry writes. These two charts explain why we should salute investment grade bonds a little more resolutely:</p> <p>Charts: Vanguard<br /> Photo: sionnac</p>
Ferrari races into its first ETF
Asset Management
<p>Italian automaker Ferrari NV (NYSE: RACE) raised $893 million in its initial public offering Tuesday, offering 17.2 million shares at $52 in what was arguably the most ballyhooed automotive IPO since Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) came public nearly five and a half years ago.</p> <p>With a market cap of nearly $10 billion, Ferrari is large enough to already be finding homes in exchange traded funds and the Italian auto giant has done just that as Renaissance Capital, the issuer of the Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSE: IPO), confirmed that fund will add shares of Ferrari after the close of U.S. markets on October 27.</p> <p>"The Renaissance IPO ETF is designed to provide investors with efficient exposure to a portfolio of U.S.-listed newly public companies ahead of their ...</p> <p>Full story available on</p> <p>Photo:  pyntofmyld</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
No joke: Hong Kong manager launches 'HAHA' on NYSE as it gains toehold in US ETF market
Asset Management
<p>While western firms scramble to set up shop in the region, Hong Kong-based CSOP revs up its quest to dominate New York.</p> <p>Hot on the heels of its first New York-listed ETF – the CSOP FTSE China A50 ETF (ticker: AFTY) – the asset manager is set to launch two more ETFs on the NYSE, according to a statement.</p> <p>Its second ETF, the CSOP MSCI China A International Hedged ETF (ticker: CNHX), aims to track the performance of the MSCI China A International Index while neutralizing the ups and downs of the yuan relative to the greenback. The third one -- the amusingly tickered CSOP China CSI 300 A-H Dynamic ETF (ticker: HAHA) -- seeks to track the performance of the CSI 300 Smart Index.</p> <p>Apparently, HAHA will be the first time anyone combined A and H-shares together in one product, and was specifically engineered “for the vast number of investors who have only invested in offshore H shares ETFs in the U.S.” Interestingly, the fund was also structured to arb A-shares and H-shares price differentials, which sounds neat. Let’s just hope investors won’t find any irony involved with its ticker.</p> <p>Joking aside, this actually sounds like a great opportunity for U.S. investors, as Louis Lu, a portfolio manager at CSOP, had to say:<br /> “After launching our first FTSE China A50 ETF in the U.S. market, we are proud to bring two more exciting products to U.S. investors. With the expedited opening steps of China's capital market, we maintain a constructive view on China's A-shares market and think it is good timing for U.S. investors to increase their holdings of China A-shares.”<br /> Photo: Thomas Hawk</p>
Aberdeen Asset to bag first private fund management license in China
Asset Management
<p>Say goodbye to joint ventures and say hello to a new era for foreign fund managers because according to the SCMP, Aberdeen Asset Management is about to bag the first ever private fund manager licence in China:<br /> “British fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management is due to be granted a private fund manager licence in China, signifying foreign fund managers will no longer need to go into joint ventures and can operate at 100 per cent shareholding in their investment businesses.</p> <p>The fund manager will receive a private fund licence for its wholly-owned foreign enterprise (WFOE) setup in Shanghai.</p> <p>The quota for Britain's renminbi qualified foreign institutional investors (RQFII) programme is due to be increased as part of the 200 trade agreements that are to be concluded over President Xi Jinping’s visit to London this week, sources familiar with the situation told the South China Morning Post.”<br /> The license not only allows Aberdeen to trade in China's secondary markets, but to also raise cash from individual and institutional investors onshore.<br /> Photo: Anthony Kelly</p>